How to Quickly and Easily Fix 7 Very Common SEO Issues
If you have been working hard on your search engine optimization but are still not seeing good results, bring in the reinforcements, such as an SEO agency. A reliable technical team can dig deeper into the underlying issues and help you fix them in a timely manner.
If you are wondering what is going wrong, and want to investigate that yourself, here are some possible culprits:
- Indexation issues
- Duplicate content
- Keyword cannibalization
- Site insecurity
- Page speed
- Poor site structure
- Broken links
We also share some effective SEO strategies to fix them, stat. Let’s go!
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7 Biggest SEO Issues and How to Fix Them ASAP
Like any problem, everything else is a band-aid solution until you address the root cause. With SEO, sometimes the issues are not easily visible.
The good news is that a digital marketing firm with a solid optimization background can use tools, knowledge, and processes such as a technical audit to:
- Uncover the problems
- Analyze the potential cause
- Fix the issues
- Provide or implement steps to ensure they do not happen again
- Keep track of the impact of the solutions.
Now, a website that looks good on the outside could be dealing with a long list of technical, on-page, and off-page optimization issues. Here are the most common ones:
1. For Indexation Issues, Wait or Follow Webmaster’s Guidelines
If you are not getting traffic or the people visiting your website are not your target audience, it could be because you have indexing issues.
Because these can have various causes and implications, we present the information in the table below:
|The search engine does not index the page at all.||
- The site is new, so search engines have not crawled the pages yet.
- You did not request indexing.
- Give search engines some time to crawl and index. Usually, it takes a week to see results.
- Submit your site for indexing through Google Search Console.
|Google, Bing, or other search engines continue to index your pages despite a no-index instruction.||
- The “no index tag” is in the wrong location.
- It is a cache issue, meaning the database keeps the page.
- Add the instruction at the beginning of the page, preferably in the response headers or the beginning of the page.
- Wait for the search engines to recrawl your website.
|The number of indexed pages in the console is either lower or higher than the ones that appear in the search results.||- Search engines might have devalued some of your pages.||- Refer to Google Search Essential guidelines.|
2. For Duplicate Content, Redirect or Use Canonical Tags
Duplicate content happens when search engines index two versions of the same webpage. It occurs if the same page exists within a website or if multiple domains have the same content.
It is one of those SEO issues that can go unnoticed for a long time and often happens inadvertently. For instance:
- Duplicate content in the form of printer-friendly pages
- URL parameters with session IDs
- Pages that serve different users differently, such as those showing different currency values based on geolocation
The good news is that search engines, including Google, do not penalize you for having duplicate content unless you mean to manipulate the search results.
However, duplicate content can confuse search engines, and they may choose a version you do not want to rank.
Here’s how to fix duplicate content:
- Utilize canonical tags, which are HTML tags that help search engines differentiate between different versions of a page.
- Set up 301 redirects for any duplicate pages that lead search crawlers to the preferred version of each page. This is especially helpful if you have multiple domains with identical content.
- Follow Google’s recommended guidelines on how to write pages for multiple locations on the same website.
3. For Keyword Cannibalization, Combine Similar Content
What is the difference between “fair trade coffee” and “sustainable coffee” or “e-vehicles” and “electric vehicles”? There is hardly any difference. That means they are prone to “keyword cannibalization,” a phenomenon that occurs when you compete with yourself to rank for the same keyword.
It can happen in a number of ways:
- Your website has multiple pages that use similar yet slightly different keywords.
- You create separate campaigns targeting the identical keyword.
These actions can cause confusion for search engines, reducing their ability to determine where to rank your content. Additionally, keyword cannibalization can lead to poorer overall performance and a wasted budget.
Fix this SEO issue with these tips:
- Perform a thorough keyword and content analysis to see which keywords are ripe for cannibalization.
- Standardize terms for similar content, preferably keeping the one with a higher ranking or a higher chance of getting a bigger boost because of the restructure.
- Opt for redirects, especially if you combine a large amount of content and need to keep the URLs intact.
- Focus on long-tail keywords that target niche clusters.
4. For Site Insecurity, Ensure Your SSL Certificates Are Valid
Hackers targeting websites are common SEO issues that business owners face. In addition to data breaches, website security directly affects your site’s ranking and reputation on search engines.
Google has explicitly said that it will penalize sites with an insecure connection (HTTP instead of HTTPS).
Moreover, potential customers view a lack of security as a red flag. They may even go so far as to think their data is at risk if they purchase from your website.
Here are the best ideas to prevent site insecurity:
- Ensure that all pages have valid SSL/TLS certificates. Pay extra attention to an expiring one.
- Update the website regularly, especially any plugins or add-ons you use on your website.
- Monitor the website to detect potential threats, malicious activity, and outdated practices that harm your optimization strategies.
- Be sure to educate yourself and your staff on security awareness. This includes understanding how to spot suspicious emails, phishing attempts, malware attacks, etc.
5. For Slow Page Speed, Be Sure to Cache, Compress, and Optimize
A slow page speed can be a real destructive force when it comes to improving your website’s rankings. Search engine bots love websites that can quickly deliver content. After all, it elevates the user experience.
It is good for you, too, because you can provide the information your audience wants ASAP. They are less likely to leave your site before you can load the full content.
While search engines do not impose speed, three seconds is the most ideal.
Make your website more mobile- and user-friendly with these suggestions:
- Leverage browser caching.
- Compress files to reduce load size.
- Reduce the number of images and videos on your page.
- Use a reliable server or hosting service with fast speed.
- Implement accelerated mobile pages (AMP) technology to make pages faster on mobile devices.
6. For Poor Site Structure, Define Content Hierarchy
Does your website feel like a maze where users struggle to find the information they need? Do you lack a sitemap? Did you fail to create a coherent site infrastructure?
Then you have a huge problem with your hands.
A poor site structure can:
- Prevent search engines from properly indexing all of a site’s pages.
- If pages are not structured to provide clear paths for users and bots to follow, then important information can be either inaccessible or buried too deeply within the page hierarchy.
- The cascading effect can lead to low rankings overall and actively prevent the website from appearing in relevant searches.
Make your pages easier to navigate, crawl, and index with these tips:
- Create an XML sitemap to make sure all your pages are accessible to search engine bots.
- Establish a clear hierarchy that groups similar content so it is easier for users to navigate.
- Maximize silos by creating topical clusters of information.
- Make sure to have proper internal linking. Aim for at least three links per page.
- Improve content design by using metadata to generate rich snippets.
- Optimize page titles and meta descriptions to make relevant information more visible and easy to find.
7. For Broken Links, Remember to Monitor and Redirect
Broken links can happen for several reasons. It could be due to restructured content, changed URLs, or pages removed without proper redirects.
Regardless of the cause, broken links will hinder your website’s performance and drive away potential customers.
- Search engine bots cannot access any page linked to a broken link, even if it is important.
- Users become frustrated when they find a dead link, especially if they click through from search engine results.
- When external websites link to a broken page on your website, it can lead to crawl errors.
- It wastes your SEO crawl budget.
Deal with broken links through the following:
- Check for broken links regularly and repair them as soon as you find them.
- Be sure to redirect links to their new destinations, use the right status code, and add a 301 redirect if necessary.
- Ensure external websites linking to yours are up-to-date and do not link to any broken pages.
- Create custom 404 error pages that help users navigate away from the dead end.
- Stay organized by labeling any links that need fixing in a spreadsheet or document.
These seven issues are like brick walls that can cripple your website’s online visibility. We have outlined the basic solutions that fix SEO problems ASAP.
Even so, we highly recommend hiring an experienced optimization professional who possesses a strong SEO foundation to spot these problems before they get worse. We also have deep knowledge to implement advanced techniques that will keep your website in top shape. Contact us today for more information.
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